Package -

Electron Installer for Debian

electron-installer-debian Version Build Status Dependency Status

Create a Debian package for your Electron app.

Requirements

This tool requires Node 4 or greater, fakeroot, and dpkg to build the .deb package.

I'd recommend building your packages on your target platform, but if you insist on using Mac OS X, you can install these tools through Homebrew:

$ brew install fakeroot dpkg

Installation

For use from command-line:

$ npm install -g electron-installer-debian

For use in npm scripts or programmatically:

$ npm install --save-dev electron-installer-debian

Usage

Say your Electron app lives in path/to/app, and has a structure like this:

.
├── LICENSE
├── README.md
├── node_modules
│   ├── electron-packager
│   └── electron
├── package.json
├── resources
│   ├── Icon.png
│   ├── IconTemplate.png
│   └── IconTemplate@2x.png
└── src
    ├── index.js
    ├── main
    │   └── index.js
    └── renderer
        ├── index.html
        └── index.js

You now run electron-packager to build the app for Debian:

$ electron-packager . app --platform linux --arch x64 --out dist/

And you end up with something like this in your dist folder:

.
└── dist
    └── app-linux-x64
        ├── LICENSE
        ├── LICENSES.chromium.html
        ├── content_shell.pak
        ├── app
        ├── icudtl.dat
        ├── libgcrypt.so.11
        ├── libnode.so
        ├── locales
        ├── natives_blob.bin
        ├── resources
        ├── snapshot_blob.bin
        └── version

How do you turn that into a Debian package that your users can install?

Command-Line

If you want to run electron-installer-debian straight from the command-line, install the package globally:

$ npm install -g electron-installer-debian

And point it to your built app:

$ electron-installer-debian --src dist/app-linux-x64/ --dest dist/installers/ --arch amd64

You'll end up with the package at dist/installers/app_0.0.1_amd64.deb.

Scripts

If you want to run electron-installer-debian through npm, install the package locally:

$ npm install --save-dev electron-installer-debian

Edit the scripts section of your package.json:

{
  "name": "app",
  "description": "An awesome app!",
  "version": "0.0.1",
  "scripts": {
    "start": "electron .",
    "build": "electron-packager . app --platform linux --arch x64 --out dist/",
    "deb64": "electron-installer-debian --src dist/app-linux-x64/ --dest dist/installers/ --arch amd64"
  },
  "devDependencies": {
    "electron-installer-debian": "^0.6.0",
    "electron-packager": "^9.0.0",
    "electron": "~1.7.0"
  }
}

Note: The versions in devDependencies are examples only, please use the latest package versions when possible.

And run the script:

$ npm run deb64

You'll end up with the package at dist/installers/app_0.0.1_amd64.deb.

Programmatically

Install the package locally:

$ npm install --save-dev electron-installer-debian

And write something like this:

var installer = require('electron-installer-debian')

var options = {
  src: 'dist/app-linux-x64/',
  dest: 'dist/installers/',
  arch: 'amd64'
}

console.log('Creating package (this may take a while)')

installer(options, function (err) {
  if (err) {
    console.error(err, err.stack)
    process.exit(1)
  }

  console.log('Successfully created package at ' + options.dest)
})

You'll end up with the package at dist/installers/app_0.0.1_amd64.deb.

Options

Even though you can pass most of these options through the command-line interface, it may be easier to create a configuration file:

{
  "dest": "dist/installers/",
  "icon": "resources/Icon.png",
  "categories": [
    "Utility"
  ],
  "lintianOverrides": [
    "changelog-file-missing-in-native-package"
  ]
}

And pass that instead with the config option:

$ electron-installer-debian --src dist/app-linux-x64/ --arch amd64 --config config.json

Anyways, here's the full list of options:

src

Type: String Default: undefined

Path to the folder that contains your built Electron application.

dest

Type: String Default: undefined

Path to the folder that will contain your Debian installer.

rename

Type: Function Default: function (dest, src) { return path.join(dest, src); }

Function that renames all files generated by the task just before putting them in your dest folder.

options.name

Type: String Default: package.name || "electron"

Name of the package (e.g. atom), used in the Package field of the control specification.

According to the Debian Policy Manual:

Package names [...] must consist only of lower case letters (a-z), digits (0-9), plus (+) and minus (-) signs, and periods (.). They must be at least two characters long and must start with an alphanumeric character.

options.productName

Type: String Default: package.productName || package.name

Name of the application (e.g. Atom), used in the Name field of the desktop specification.

options.genericName

Type: String Default: package.genericName || package.productName || package.name

Generic name of the application (e.g. Text Editor), used in the GenericName field of the desktop specification.

options.description

Type: String Default: package.description

Short description of the application, used in the Description field of the control specification.

options.productDescription

Type: String Default: package.productDescription || package.description

Long description of the application, used in the Description field of the control specification.

options.version

Type: String Default: package.version || "0.0.0"

Version number of the package, used in the Version field of the control specification.

options.revision

Type: String Default: package.revision || "1"

Revision number of the package, used in the Version field of the control specification.

options.section

Type: String Default: "utils"

Application area into which the package has been classified, used in the Section field of the control specification.

You can read more about sections, and also check out the list of existing sections in Debian unstable.

options.priority

Type: String Default: "optional"

How important it is that the user have the package installed., used in the Priority field of the control specification.

You can read more about priorities.

options.arch

Type: String Default: undefined

Machine architecture the package is targeted to, used in the Architecture field of the control specification.

For possible values see the output of dpkg-architecture -L.

options.size

Type: Integer Default: size of the folder

Estimate of the total amount of disk space required to install the named package, used in the Installed-Size field of the control specification.

options.depends, recommends, suggests, enhances, preDepends

Type: Array[String] Default: see src/installer.js for depends, recommends, suggests, enhances, and preDepends

Relationships to other packages, used in the Depends, Recommends, Suggests, Enhances and Pre-Depends fields of the control specification.

All user dependencies will be appended to the Default array of dependencies and any duplicates will be removed.

options.maintainer

Type: String Default: package.author.name <package.author.email>

Maintainer of the package, used in the Maintainer field of the control specification.

options.homepage

Type: String Default: package.homepage || package.author.url

URL of the homepage for the package, used in the Homepage field of the control specification.

options.bin

Type: String Default: package.name || "electron"

Relative path to the executable that will act as binary for the application, used in the Exec field of the desktop specification.

The generated package will contain a symlink /usr/bin/<%= options.name %> pointing to the path provided here.

For example, providing this configuration:

{
  src: '...',
  dest: '...',
  name: 'foo',
  bin: 'resources/cli/launcher.sh'
}

Will create a package with the following symlink:

usr/bin/foo@ -> ../lib/foo/resources/cli/launcher.sh

And a desktop specification with the following Exec key:

Exec=foo %U

options.icon

Type: String or Object[String:String] Default: resources/icon.png

Path to a single image that will act as icon for the application:

{
  icon: 'resources/Icon.png'
}

Or multiple images with their corresponding resolutions:

{
  icon: {
    '48x48': 'resources/Icon48.png',
    '64x64': 'resources/Icon64.png',
    '128x128': 'resources/Icon128.png',
    '256x256': 'resources/Icon256.png',
    'scalable': 'resources/Icon.svg'
  }
}

Note that the image files must be one of the types: PNG or SVG. The support for SVG works only on scalable resolution.

options.categories

Type: Array[String] Default: ['GNOME', 'GTK', 'Utility']

Categories in which the application should be shown in a menu, used in the Categories field of the desktop specification.

For possible values check out the Desktop Menu Specification.

options.mimeType

Type: Array[String] Default: []

MIME types the application is able to open, used in the MimeType field of the desktop specification.

options.lintianOverrides

Type: Array[String] Default: []

You can use these to quieten lintian.

options.scripts

Type: Object[String:String] Default: undefined

Path to package maintainer scripts with their corresponding name, used in the installation procedure:

{
  scripts: {
    'preinst': 'resources/preinst_script',
    'postinst': 'resources/postinst_script',
    'prerm': 'resources/prerm_script',
    'postrm': 'resources/postrm_script'
  }
}

You can read more about package maintainer scripts and general scripts

options.desktopTemplate

Type: String Default: resources/desktop.ejs

The absolute path to a custom template for the generated FreeDesktop.org desktop entry file.

Installed Package

The package installs the Electron application into /usr/lib, since there are architecture-specific files in the package. There was a discussion in the issue tracker about the installation directory.

In versions of electron-installer-debian prior to 0.5.0, the app was (incorrectly) installed in /usr/share.

Meta

Contributors

License

Copyright (c) 2016 Daniel Perez Alvarez (unindented.org). This is free software, and may be redistributed under the terms specified in the LICENSE file.

Github

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